History and tradition
Filigrees are great lacework made by blending spun gold and silver wire. The goldsmiths use tools such as: pliers, to mold the threads, scissors to cut them, a hammer and finally a welding torch to weld the piece of filigree.
Filigrees are used to adorn ladieswear, decoration and inlayed in pieces made of several materials.
The manufacturers of filigrees in Gondomar date back to the 8th century.
The filigree is entirely handmade and demands from executer the highest degree of imagination, patience and ability. The piece’s body is constituted by armor made in gold and silver blades, stretched to the necessary thickness, which, with its borders strongly drawn, generates itself still in several interior nerves, with double function of giving conscience to the piece, giving it from the beginning a first aesthetic line, and creates the empty spaces where the wonder of ‘rendilhado’ will be operated.
In a second phase which is the most delicate as a worker and consist in filling, with the aid of a simple tool, the empty spaces left in the armor, with soft golden wires to the thickness of a hair line, wires that the filigree women patiently work in S’s and in spirals, which are called ‘rodilhões or ‘crespos’.
It finally proceeds to the fixation of the several elements until then only adjusted over a piece made of short metallic wires. Later it is the finishing phase: reheat, clean and color to finalize the piece of filigree.